THERE are few better judges of a horse than trainer Andy Oliver and he has been the maker of more than one illustrious career. As a trader he normally wins with horses and then sells them on, no doubt enjoying the credit and reputation he later gets for being such a significant part of their formative years.

The latest star to emerge from the Oliver Academy is Long Dog, Willie Mullins’ hugely exciting novice hurdler. The facile winner of the Grade 3 Shannon Airport Christmas Racing Festival Novice Hurdle at Limerick will surely be one of the main players for the Closutton stable this season.